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Steve Cohen’s 11th Commandment

3 Mar

Senator Steve Cohen says he would have just stayed in Egypt, rather than encourage that big drama queen Moses

Egypt expels Al Jazeera journalists in crackdown on Qatari channel

3 Sep

Related Topics

CAIRO | Sun Sep 1, 2013 12:41pm EDT

(Reuters) – Egypt deported three Al Jazeera journalists on Sunday, days after the Qatari-owned channel carried appeals from leaders of ousted President Mohamed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood to stage protests against the army-backed government.

The Gulf emirate was a strong financial backer of Brotherhood rule and vehemently opposes the army’s overthrow of Mursi and the ensuing bloody crackdown on his movement.

Al Jazeera’s offices in Cairo have been closed since July 3, when they were raided by security forces hours after Mursi was toppled, although the channel, broadcast from Qatar, can still be seen in Egypt.

Security officials at Cairo airport, declining to be named, said Wayne Hay, Adil Bradlow and Russ Finn had been put on an Egyptian plane headed for London, after being forced to leave their equipment behind.

The men had been held since Tuesday. An Al Jazeera spokesman said they had been released and left Egypt without being given a reason for their detention.

The station also said that Shihab Elddin Shaarawi, an executive producer for Al Jazeera’s Egyptian channel, had been arrested on Friday morning but later released.

The channel’s cameraman Mohamed Badr was detained a month ago and Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Abdullah al-Shami was arrested on August 14.

Both are still in detention, but producer Mohammed Baher was freed on Sunday after being held for five days.

Last week, Al Jazeera aired statements from two Brotherhood leaders who had eluded a wave of arrests, Mohamed El-Beltagi and Essam El-Erian, that included a call to join protests against Egypt’s military-backed interim government. Beltagi has since been caught.

“There has … been a campaign against Al Jazeera in particular, as the channel’s offices were raided last month and security forces seized equipment which has yet to be returned,” Al Jazeera’s English service said on its website.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said Egypt’s government was widening a “censorship campaign”, adding that its research showed that four other journalists were in custody.

“Egyptian security forces continue to detain and harass journalists working for news outlets critical of the military-led government, particularly Al Jazeera and its affiliates,” it said last week.

On Thursday, the government said that Al Jazeera Mubashir Misr, the broadcaster’s Egyptian channel, was operating without a license and that unspecified legal measures would follow, “given the threat it poses to national security”.

Ayman Gaballah, the head of the channel, said the accusations were fabricated.

(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla and by Amena Bakr in Dubai; Writing by Kevin Liffey; Editing by Jon Boyle)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (3)
The Egyptian military has that old mindset whereby they can stop the information revolution by expelling a few journalists. At the point when Egyptian “liberals” realize what a devilish pact they have made in overturning democracy and the rule of law, the military will find it difficult to stop future mass demonstrations against its concept of total control. Inshallah.

Sep 01, 2013 1:13pm EDT  —  Report as abuse
toTrue4You wrote:
And yet another government overthrown and destabilize thanks to us arms sales and backing. So proud to be an American….

Sep 01, 2013 2:30pm EDT  —  Report as abuse
kopasetic wrote:
The Egyptian government is acting on behalf of the people in Egypt who have witnessed what the MB was planning to bring to their country. The actions the Egyptian government is taking are proper and reflect the actions you have to take to stop a plague from spreading.

Sep 01, 2013 2:36pm EDT  —  Report as abuse

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More senators call for suspension of Egypt aid

18 Aug

Several senators on Sunday joined the growing chorus of lawmakers calling for the United States to suspend aid to Egypt amid the eruption of deadly violence there.
“Now with the recent violent crackdown, I do not see how we can continue aid,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “I believe it must be suspended.”
Speaking on the same program, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said, “I do believe we have to change our aid.”
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” “I think the actions of the last week are no doubt going to cause us to suspend aid.” Corker added that he advocates a “suspension but recalibration” of aid, with an eye on maintaining it in the long term.
The latest comments from the senators represent a shift. Corker last month cautioned against rushing into discussions about cutting off aid. And Reed had said he didn’t think cutting off aid would increase the odds of Egypt implementing a Democratic government.
The U.S. provides $1.6 billion in annual U.S. assistance to Egypt, much of it going toward financing purchases of U.S. military equipment. The Egyptian military’s violent crackdown against defenders of Mohamed Morsi, the ousted president, has led to increasing pressure from members of Congress for the U.S. to suspend its aid to the military. 
President Obama last week cancelled a joint training exercise with Egypt’s military planned for next month, a measured response that has left some members of Congress dissatisfied. The Obama administration also is  also debating whether to stop next month’s scheduled delivery of new Apache AH-64D aircraft.
Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who have been calling for the United States to suspend aid, reiterated their views Sunday.
“We do have influence, but when you don’t use that influence, you do not have that influence,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said on “Fox News Sunday” that future aid to Egypt should be conditional “on specific steps toward the rule of law and return to democracy.”
But other members of Congress cautioned against suspending aid.
“We certainly shouldn’t cut off all aid,” said Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) on “Fox News Sunday.”
Speaking on “This Week,” Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said, “I think we have to be very careful and not ct off our nose to spite our face.”

Tweet a photo of your support to Egyptian rebels

8 Jul
Or Brazilian or Turkish rebels.  Send us a copy and we will post it here!

I think we need to start sending pictures to Egyptian protesters of us holding signs that say, “Libertarians love Egyptians and we hate that our government supports terrorism.” I would like it if we could say “Americans” instead of “libertarians” but there are a lot of Americans that still support our foreign policy. The amazing thing about social media is that we can make this happen and through it we can communicate with protesters around the world 🙂

Like ·  ·  · 14 hours ago · 

Round the World with Libertarians Weekly Calendar

6 Jul
Check back as we update this during the week.

Egypt, Turkey, Brazil – all week – citizens protest government, leading Stalinist/Mercedes Marxist/British aristocrat Seamus Milne in the Guardian to complain that these tax serfs do not have an appropriate socialist ideology but are simply protesting government! The ruffians!  Janeane  Garofalo denounces Brazilian, Egyptian and Turkish protestors with anti-Obama signs as straight up cracker assed racists.


Moscow?  – all week –  Edward Snowden continues to expose the Obama surveillance state and make the Obama regime look like keystone cops.


Vancouver, Canada – Liberty on the Rocks

 St. Augustine’s.   2360 Commercial Drive


Washington, D.C.        

  • Russell Senate Office Building Room 385

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    Due to sequester, it is recommended people enter through the Dirksen 24-hour entrance at 1st & C St NE. Once you enter the building and clear security (please do not bring any weapons or suspicious items) take the stairs to the basement and proceed to Russell. Any elevator will get you to the 3rd floor.
    … …

    Club Mission:

    The mission of Liberty Toastmasters is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence, personal growth and the ability to communicate the ideas of liberty to others.


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      • Chicago, Illinois.  

 Monday, July 8, 2013 7:00pm in CDT 
 The Grill on the Alley, 909 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 

 Come out and meet new friends and old friends at OCON 2013. There will be an Ohomos mixer at The Grill on the Alley, next door to the Westin Michigan Avenue where the conference will be taking place. We’d love to have you there. You do not have to be attending the conference to come to this event. If you live in the area please feel free to stop in and say hi. This will be a great opportunity to meet with other LGBT Objectivists and straight friends in a relaxed environment. See you there!


  • The DIONYSIUM presents a debate Tue., July 9th (8pm) on

    “Blurred Lines: Are Sex Roles Created More by Biology or Society?”


    Biology: DIANA FLEISCHMAN, Ph.D., senior lecturer in evolutionary psychology at the University of Portsmouth (and vegan blogger at


    Society: KELLY ANN BEAVERS, Ph.D. candidate in sociology/urban studies — sometimes studying Williamsburg (she’s also a yoga instructor and aspiring underwear model)

    And because Beavers is in the band BELLS AND HUNTERS (, we will also hear a song — possibly about love or gender roles.

    TODD SEAVEY moderates in typically-sensitive fashion.

    It’s all Tue., July 9 (8pm), at the MUCHMORE’S performance space/bar in Williamsburg, ground floor of 2 Havemeyer St. (corner of N. 9th St.), just three blocks east of the easily-reached first L stop into Brooklyn, Bedford Ave.


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  • Join the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation as we host our annual summer intern debate to discuss the topic: Is libertarianism or conservatism the better political philosophy?

    The event will be moderated by political strategist Nicole Neily. A reception will follow.

    This event is open to all students, interns, and young professionals. To reserve your seat, register here: The event will also be broadcast live online:

    Liberty and virtue are values that both conservatives and libertarians tout as components of their philosophies. Historically, disagreements about the definitions of and balance between liberty and virtue have taken a back seat to other more pressing conflicts, causing the distinct philosophies to often be lumped together. As times have changed, elements of the old “fusionism” alliance have dissolved, and new conflicts have emerged that impose a strain on the formerly functioning, though imperfect, ideological partnership.

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  • Plan ahead!! Our guest speaker will be Ilya Somin. Ilya is a Professor at GMU School of Law. His research focuses on constitutional law, property law, and the study of popular political participation and its implications for constitutional democracy. Somin currently serves as Co-Editor of the Supreme Court Economic Review, one of the country’s top-rated law and economics journals. His work has appeared in numerous scholarly journals, including the Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Critical Review, and others. He has also published articles in a variety of popular press outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Newark Star Ledger, Orlando Sentinel, South China Morning Post, Legal Times, National Law Journal and Reason. He has been quoted or interviewed by the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, and the Voice of America, among other media. In July 2009, he testified on property rights issues at the United States Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Somin writes regularly for the popular Volokh Conspiracy law and politics blog.

    Ilya’s topic for our meeting is the case for legalization and some of the ways in which public and elite opinion is changing on the subject (as well as the remaining opposition that still exists).

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Egypt needs capitalism

5 Jul

It is capitalism, not democracy, that the Arab world needs most

Property rights for aid: this could be the most effective anti-poverty strategy in history

Protesters supporting former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi demonstrate behind riot policemen near Cairo University on July 4 Photo: REUTERS
To watch events in Egypt is like seeing a videotape of the Arab Spring being played backwards. The ballot box has been kicked away, the constitution torn up, the military has announced the name of a puppet president – and crowds assemble in Tahrir Square to go wild with joy. The Saudi Arabian monarchy, which was so nervous two years ago, has telegrammed its congratulations to Cairo’s generals. To the delight of autocrats everywhere, Egypt’s brief experiment with democracy seems to have ended in embarrassing failure.
Normally, Western leaders would be lining up to deplore a coup d’etat, but yesterday even William Hague seemed lost for words. As a rule of thumb, he says, Britain prefers civilian rule. But when asked to condemn the Cairo coup, he declined. The Arab world’s Twitter accounts, once full of revolutionary optimism, have turned into a depository of despair. “Egypt has taught me that democracy is a lie and an elected president is a myth,” wrote Ahmed al-Husseini, a Sunni preacher from Bahrain. “No parliament, no elections, no ballot boxes. All lies.”
He has a point. Egypt’s election turned out to be like an Irish EU referendum: voters could give any answer they liked, as long as it was the right one. The army didn’t like how things were going, so it has asked voters to choose again. While the West was celebrating Egypt joining the comity of democratic nations, Egyptians themselves were sliding into an economic abyss, with terrifying shortages of fuel, food and security. Sectarian violence has been thrown into the mix, with persecution of the Coptic Christians followed by Sunni v Shia strife. The murder rate trebled. Things were falling apart, which is why the generals were welcomed back.
But the Arab Spring was a demand for freedom, not necessarily democracy – and the distinction between the two is crucial. Take, for example, the case of Mohammed Bouazizi, who started this chain of events by burning himself alive on a Tunisian street market two years ago. As his family attest, he had no interest in politics. The freedom he wanted was the right to buy and sell, and to build his business without having to pay bribes to the police or fear having his goods confiscated at random. If he was a martyr to anything, it was to capitalism.
All this has been established by Hernando de Soto, a Peruvian economist who travelled to Egypt to investigate the causes of the Arab Spring. His team of researchers found that Bouazizi had inspired 60 similar cases of self-immolation, including five in Egypt, almost all of which had been overlooked by the press. The narrative of a 1989-style revolution in hope of regime change seemed so compelling to foreigners that there was little appetite for further explanation. But de Soto’s team tracked down those who survived their suicide attempts, and the bereaved families. Time and again, they found the same story: this was a protest for the basic freedom to own and acquire ras el mel, or capital.
Bouazizi killed himself after police confiscated all his fruit and a pair of second-hand electronic scales. This was all he had. He was a gifted trader; he had hoped to save enough money to buy a car and grow his business. On the face of it, losing some fruit and a £100 pair of scales seems like an odd basis for suicide. But having made enemies of the police, Bouazizi realised he would not be allowed to trade again. His family say he felt his life had ended and that, if he died for any cause, it should be that the poor should be able to buy and sell.
For most of the developing world, no such right exists. In theory, everyone is protected by law. But in practice, the process of acquiring a legal licence is so riddled with bribery and bureaucracy that only a small minority can afford to go through with it. To de Soto, this explains much of world poverty. Step out of the door of the Nile Hilton, he says, and you are not leaving behind the world of internet, ice machines and antibiotics. The poor have access to all of these things if they really want it. What you are leaving behind is the world of legally enforceable transactions of property rights. These traders do not really break the law – the law breaks them.
Take Fadoua Laroui, a Moroccan mother, whose suicide was filmed. She explained her reasons before setting herself alight. “I am going to immolate myself,” she said. “I am doing this to protest against hogra and economic exclusion.” Hogra means contempt towards small traders, the contempt which Bouazizi was shown by the police. A similar story was told by the survivors, and the relatives of the deceased. As Bouazizi’s brother explained to de Soto: “People like Mohammed are concerned with doing business. They don’t understand anything about politics.”
Technically, the law covers everyone. But under Hosni Mubarak, for example, opening a small bakery in Cairo took more than 500 days of bureaucracy. To open a business in Egypt means dealing with 29 government agencies. The same story is true throughout the region: the average Arab needs to present four dozen documents and endure two years of red tape to become the legal owner of land or business. If you don’t have the time or money for this, you are condemned to life in the black market: no matter how good you are, you will never trade your way out of poverty. Arabs are so angry about this that they are burning themselves alive.
William Hague said yesterday that Egyptians want the freedom to express their views and choose their governments. Stability, he said, “comes from democratic institutions”. Yet there has been depressingly little evidence of this stability in democratic Egypt – as the Saudis are gleefully pointing out. This sets a terrible example to other fledgling democracies: that if things get tough, the army can eject the government and start again. Whoever follows Mohammed Morsi as president will know that, in effect, he serves at the pleasure of the military.
A few weeks ago, de Soto told the US Congress that the West has fundamentally misread the Arab Spring and is missing a massive opportunity. Bouazizi, and the five Egyptians who self-immolated, spoke for 380 million Arabs who lack property rights or any legal protection. This applies to Britain: if we were to become champions of these people, and demand the extension of property rights in return for our foreign aid, it could be the most effective anti-poverty strategy ever devised. And it might make us millions of new friends in the Arab world.
This is not a new idea, but the revival of an old one. As Margaret Thatcher once put it, “being democratic is not enough – a majority cannot turn what is wrong into right”. Freedom, she said, depends on the strength of the institutions: law and order, a free press, the police and an army that serves the government rather than supervises it. History is proving her right – in Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq and now in Egypt. The façade of democracy can be horribly deceptive; it is the strength of institutions that decides if nations rise or fall.
Fraser Nelson is editor of ‘The Spectator’

Live libertarian coverage of Egypt via Social media

5 Jul

Via Rantings of a Sandmonkey blogger on Facebook or Twitter.